Message from the Judge In Charge
Honorable Melissa M. Phinn, Judge In Charge
Cummings Courthouse, Chambers 550
111 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Telephone: (410) 545-6235/36
Fax: (410) 545-6237
The Criminal Division is comprised of a Felony Reception Court, a Misdemeanor Reception Court, an adult Drug Treatment Court, and a Mental Health Court.
The Judge in Charge of Criminal presides over the Felony Reception Court and handles guilty pleas, postponement requests, and assigns cases to judges for trial. Initial appearances for unrepresented defendants are held in the afternoon.
The Misdemeanor Reception Court cases are assigned to a trial court for resolution by guilty plea, nolle prosequi, stet, or trial at 9:30 a.m. daily.
Bail review hearings are conducted remotely via Zoom for Government at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Friday. Bail review hearings for FTA’s and TBA’s are conducted at 1:30 p.m. daily.
The adult Drug Treatment Court is a sanction-based program that provides judicial supervised treatment to offenders with substance abuse dependencies. The offender is recommended to participate in the program by the Court, the Assistant State’s Attorney, and his/her defense attorney.
The Mental Health Court is a judicially supervised treatment court that oversees offenders charged with low-level criminal offenses who have been diagnosed with serious mental illness. The participants are identified through mental health screening and assessments. The overarching goal of the court is to provide its participants with treatment and support services to lower the recidivism of this population.